A/N: I just read this chapter again and noticed some unforgivable mistakes, I bet it has more but for now I decided to repost this one. THanks for the ones still reding this fanfic, I'll try to update as soon as possible.
Tony was glad, he managed to captivate Ziva when he turned serious and it was something special and he could always count on her to feel that way. He decided to prepare a little surprise for her. Valentine's Day was around the corner and it was important to find out if he could finally make his move towards her or he was just being naive to actually think he could.
The day was actually pretty slow, no cases, Gibbs was mainly in Vance's office because Director Vance was out of town for some conference at Geneva and since the murder of his wife, Leon and Gibbs were actually more close professionally as they used to be, Vance was devastated when his wife was murdered and Gibbs helped him to get through it due to his own experience.
McGee was getting back to his desk with a smile remembering the conversation he had with Abby, he was terrified to leave the friend's zone at the same time he wanted more, so he was preoccupied of what to do next. As his usual way of dealing with things, he decided to play along with Abby, to give her the illusion of a romantic Valentine's, even if it was to endure their friendship or to go further.
The idea was simple, to get into the mood by emoticons:
Mc Gee and Abby were enjoying this game, it was kinda silly and innocent at the same time, they needed time to figure out what they wanted for them. At times they were happy being friends but there were other times in which it was obvious they wanted more. They've explored in the past how would be to be together but back then he was really insecure and Abby was ending a relationship so even they approached for a brief period of time, it was in the past. Abby was remaining the same but through the years she was more cautious about her men selection while Tim was more confident in his job, in his appearance and mostly with Abby.
Tony was sit in his desk and watching with amusement McGee's behavior, it was kinda distracting listening to his giggles until he noticed Gibbs coming to the bullpen, he tried to warn McGee without success…
Gibbs seemed pissed, well he always looked that way but at that moment the Director's Assistant was trying to make sign some files and as always he was willing to make the girl her life hell. Just when was about to sign he noticed McGee giggling in the direction of his phone…
Gibbs: "Do I need to throw that to the trash?"
McGee: "No boss, I'm sorry"
Gibbs started to bark some orders because the agency was reviewing cold cases and since there were no cases to work on, Gibbs decided to maintain his team working.
Gibbs: "Dinozzo, where the hell is David?"
Ziva was entering the bullpen just in time to get into Gibbs' sight
Ziva: "Here I am Gibbs"
Gibbs: "I need some translation work on these files… by the end of the day"
With that he left leaving Ziva frustrated, she was planning in getting early on a Friday with no cases in the day but orders were orders and if she wanted to be kept in team Gibb she needed to do what was necessary to stay.
Tony was about to say something sarcastic to turn that into funny mode but he noticed Ziva discomfort about the task she received, she´ll have to stay late to finish the translations of some dialogues that were in Hebrew and Arabic. She decided to start as soon as possible, she didn't want to waste any time so she did it. Tony was trying to concentrate reviewing some cold cases too, and McGee was checking the operative system, then cleaned his hard drives and later when was almost 8 o´clock he turned his computer off and went to Abby's lab…
McGee: "Hey Abs"
Abby: "Hey Timmy"
McGee: "In rare occasions you call me by my first name"
Abby: "You've been lovely with me today, so if you keep behaving I might consider calling you Timmy more often"
McGee: "You can call me whatever you want Abs"
By then McGee was blushing, he didn't want for Abby to notice so he changed the subject immediately…
McGee: "Hey Abs, I was wondering since it's Friday and there's no cases to work on, would you go with me to a videogame tournament, I promise to behave and stay only a couple of hours, you can play too, what do you say?"
Abby: "Cool! I'm in!"
It was actually refreshing to be able to avoid the awkwardness of the text interchange from earlier and be able to just enjoy a video game tournament. Abby wasn't newbie when it was related to Tim's likes. From time to time she found herself accompanying him to this tournaments, he was always showing himself up in those events, mostly because he was reaching high scores and liked when people was surrounding the top gamers and he was one of them, however, this time he wanted to make an excuse to spend some time with Abby out of the office.
Abby knew McGee's intention, because he was quite obvious but it was really nice to see how hard he was trying to make an approach, he was shy at the end but she knew him very well and sooner or later they would need to talk and that would be it, that would be the moment in which they would remain friends or something else. But that time was far from now, they were having a good time and that was very important, besides, the gossip about Tony and Ziva was intriguing and they were willing to find out what was going on between them.
After a couple of hours in the tournament, both decided to go to a diner to eat something and talk a bit…
McGee: "So Abs, what's going on between Tony and Zi?"
Abby: "I don't know! I mean, I do know but at the same time with those two is hard to find out."
McGee: "I guess you're right. But I've noticed Tony different lately, he seems changed. I could adventure myself to say more mature"
Abby: "You think?"
McGee: "I guess so. For example, Gibbs assigned Ziva some translation work and for the amount of it I'm sure she'll stay late an
Tony finished reviewing his cold cases at 6 and he stayed just accompanying Ziva but he was embarrassed of it and tried to look busy with other files, but I know he doesn't have to review those because Gibbs already did it"
Both finished their meals and drinks and headed out from the diner, they were walking toward the parking lot and Abby grabbed his arm and said…
Abby: "Oh Timmy our boy is growing…."
With that both smiled and headed to their cars, McGee as the gentleman he is, decided to drive close to Abby's car just to make sure she was getting home safe and then he headed home. In his opinion, both of them were still struggling with the decision of being friends or explore more and for him it was about the right time, the right moment, if it wasn't now, it'd be later, only time and patience will give him courage to explore more, for now it was nice to have someone to share some moments with.
Back in the bullpen…
Tony was trying to look busy, he finished reviewing those old cases by the time McGee was heading to Abby's lab but he didn't want Ziva to stay alone until night, from time to time he was getting bored, he went to the vending machine to get Ziva tea, cookies, anything to make her feel better, because Gibbs was being exigent to her by making stay because the translations. He knew those weren't needed until next week but since Gibbs was pissed at Ziva for God knows what, she stayed and finished those translations.
It was 10pm when Ziva finally spoke:
Ziva: "Tony? What are you doing here?"
Tony: "Finishing paperwork, don't you see?"
Ziva: "Tony… you think you can fool me?"
Tony: "What are you talking about sweet cheeks?
By the time he said that he was avoiding Ziva's look, he was trying to look busy but he was caught and all he could do was to be honest.
Tony: "Look, just wanted to stay, ok?"
Ziva knew better that tone of voice, that tone expressing concern, love and caring and she didn't want to ruin that, she just stopped pushing him, it was enough to make him stay when he didn't have to.
By the look in Ziva's eyes, she was exhausted, she needed the rest a good sleep could bring and he didn't want to make her stay late, besides, next day was Saturday and he wanted to plan something with her, something different but not too obvious, so he just asked…
Tony: "Hey, you better get some sleep, you look tired"
Ziva: "I'm fine Tony" As always Ziva was trying to put into Mossad mode, the officer without tiredness, without feelings, but Tony knew her better, read her like an open book…
Tony: "OK, your definition of FINE is quite different as mine, so just rest ok? Tomorrow we'll have an active day" He was trying to be as light as he could just to make Ziva think less about what he just proposed…
Tony: "Oh didn't I mention I needed to buy some furniture?" By then Tony was being oblivious about Ziva's sarcastic look.
Ziva: "I guess you forgot to mention that"
Tony: "Well, you know Senior got back the money he lost in those investments and bought me a new house, but the thing is, it's huge, elegant but it has zero furniture and if I want to move there I need to buy some"
Ziva: "Oh I didn't know, so congratulations I guess"
Tony: "Thanks, but… what do you say? Tomorrow 9am? Breakfast my treat?"
By then Tony was looking at Ziva with those sparkling eyes he has, she was always trying to avoid contact to them because it was easy to just melt when he grinned at her, she didn't have a better thing to do, so why not?
Ziva: "OK, FINE!"
With that, Tony left Ziva's doorstep and went home, he was glad and excited he got to make Ziva go with him. The truth was he knew sooner or later that apartment would be hers too, and wanted to make her pick with him the furniture for the future, sooner or later she was moving in, if he was unsure of that, now he was sure he wanted to be there but with her. His father gave him that apartment and told him "Junior, if you aspire to have a woman like gorgeous Ziva by your side, that pig hole you call apartment is out of the question, besides being so small it's designed only for one person and I truly hope you want more"…
After their last conversation in which both men decided to share more, they have been trading emails to let the other know how things are going, lately Senior was receiving Tony's emails with things like Ziva did this, Ziva said that, etc so Senior was pretty sure without help his boy would screw up, so a month ago he finally got all his money back and decided to go house hunting with Tony and chose a beautiful house that both agreed Ziva would love in the future.